Simple Things: The Best Of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: Paul Archuletta
I don’t think I’m alone is stating that last week was definitely a doozy as far as events go. We as Houstonians had more options than usual, and I personally had nights where I missed things due to the overload of options. This week is close in the things you could be doing with your free time. Even acts that have reunited recently like Faith No More, pictured above, will be gracing the bayou city this week. Here’s how to get your groove on over the next seven days.
Wednesday you should make it over to MKT Bar to watch Mikey & The Drags frontman, Mikey Drag drop a DJ set. For those who don’t know, lately this is the guy who’s been booking some super fun acts over at Continental Club, his band is on the rise, and he reps Houston pretty hard on the daily. I have a feeling that he’ll drop some true sixties gems as well on the all ages show that starts at 7:00 with FREE Parking and Zero cover.
I’m not a fan of Kid Rock, but he sold out the Woodlands Pavilion with a very fair ticketing policy. Whether you care about the guy’s music or not, his whole tour has shows all over with a $20.00 ticket price no matter where you sit….which is pretty cool. He also has discount soda, merchandise, and hot dogs. His latest release, again, not my bag; is “First Kiss” from this year. If you got tickets, the gates are at 6:00 and legendary rockers Foreigner are on the bill as well.
Shwayze Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Warehouse Live will be bringing the hip hop of Malibu’s Shwayze to town over in the studio. The Billboard hit maker has been blowing up since the hits songs, “Buzzin’” and “Corona and Lime.” His latest release is the pop tinged “King Of The Summer,” from this year, where he keeps the Jack Johnson meets Kid Cudi sound he’s known for. The recently popular Houston hip hop of Guilla will be there to open things up. If you missed him at this year’s FPSF then I’d suggest catching him before he gets any bigger. His latest release was last year’s EP “Rap, Trap, and Drums,” and he’s since had his work remixed by Android Genius and birdmagic, as well as hopping on bigger projects by the day. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $20.00.
Over at Fitzgerald’s they’ll have the folky sounds of LA’s Milo Greene. The five piece has been making their rounds at festivals and cities all over with their infectious and pop meets Americana folk sound. They’re here in support of their latest release, “Control” from this year, and they’re rumored to have a pretty interactive live set. The indie folk five piece also known as Handsome Ransom of Houston will be there to open the show. Their most recent release was “Handsome Ransom” from 2011, but they have a nice and earnest sound that’s worth getting there early for. The all ages affair downstairs has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $13.00 and $17.00.
Alley Kat will have the Arizona horror rock brothers, Calabrese in town. The three piece made up of actual brothers has been around since 2002, and they’ve dropped a steady stream of releases since their formation. Most of their records have sounded like a hybrid of Ramones and Misfits, however this year’s “Lust For Sacrilege” is harder and faster than their previous albums. It actually has its own sound and strays from the way the band conducted things in the past. I actually really liked this album much more than what they’ve been doing prior. These guys have the best merch items ever and if you missed their energy heavy set at Mangos last year, then this is your chance to see them. Houston horror punk four piece Brumes will be on the bill as direct support, and will give everyone a run for their money. The old school punk sounds of Houston’s Pink Eye will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $5.00.
Midtown Bar & Grill will be having another edition of the High Bar comedy show. This edition features the hilarious comedy of Rosenberg comic, Russell Simek. Simek is a seriously funny guy who doesn’t perform around town a whole bunch, so this is a great way to see him live. The show also features three of Houston’s funnier comics with Greg Deal, George Brito, and Nick Thomas. I’d suggest getting there early to catch Thomas especially, as he’s a really funny guy. Though I’ve only seen Brito once, I remember him being funny, and I think we can all vouch for how funny Deal is. Josh Brokaw will open the show up and as always things are hosted by Bob Morrissey and Nick Meriwether. This is a lot of comedy for $5.00, the show is 21 & up, and the doors are at 9:00.
On Thursday, you can start off the night over at The Nightingale Room, when two local bands drop cover sets, one as Radiohead and one as U2. I have to mention this because it’s something that I feel VERY strongly about…I HATE cover sets. Houston natives around my age will remember when Houston was known for ONLY cover bands. It’s been a very long hole to climb out of, and the fact that two very talented local acts, one with a new release and one with an upcoming release, are playing a cover set..to me it’s just a waste of talent. Ask Chase Hamblin, whose original music I’m a fan of; I don’t usually promote cover bands at all and he’s in two. They do NOTHING for the artists or the growth of a very strong music scene occurring right now in Houston. However, because both of these acts have been busting their tails over a long period of time, that’s why I’m mentioning the show. Opening things up will be Houston’s Another Run performing as Radiohead. I certainly hope that they play at least one original song from their new EP, this year’s “Be Honest;” as I feel like that’s better than doing cover songs. They’ll be followed by pop rockers Catch Fever performing the songs of U2. If you haven’t heard last year’s “Shiny Eyes” from them then you’re missing out on one of the better albums to come out in recent years. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Continental Club will host Big E’s Rock Baby Rock It fest, now in it’s 15th year. Man, this is one heck of a lineup that runs over 3 days. I’ll drop each day’s show info, but I say just get a 3 day pass, save some scratch, and insure that you’ll get into the shows. The Thursday show has Houston rockabilly pioneers, The Flamin’ Hellcats. I caught these guys when I’d underrage drink at Rudyard’s back in the day, when the bands played where the elevator downstairs is now. They’ve never disappointed, and tunes found here, are always top notch. Mexico’s Tomcat & the Rock N’ Rollers open the 21 & up show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $10.00 just for the Thursday show, or $45.00 for a three day pass, which saves you ten dollars.
Theo Taylor Photo: John Moon
The Improv will have another of their Houston Homegrown shows, bringing some of our city’s best comics together on a diverse and fun night. The show, hosted by local comic and Improv regular Theo Taylor; will feature the likes of Dusti Rhodes, Ashton Womack, Bob Biggerstaff, Matt Han, Gabe Bravo, and Andy Huggins. The 18 & up show has doors at 8:00, and tickets for $5.00.
Rudyard’s will host the “banned in Russia” punk rock of Moscow’s Svetlanas. The high energy four piece has played the world over, they’ve been on large scale tours like Warped Tour, and they’re known for being chaotic and frenzied. Their latest album, this year’s “Naked Horse Rider” falls in line with their history of blistering songs all under two and a half minutes. The punk/ska sounds of Corpus Christie’s Avenue Rockers will be on hand with their blend of Rancid meets NOFX sounding tunes. The Robert Conn(The Pagans) lead sleaze rock of The Guillotines will also be on the bill, while Houston old school style punks, Zeroheroes open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and an $8.00. cover.
Silver Street will be letting the youngsters come have a party with a show that promises Free Entry, Free Booze, and a DJ dance party. As it appears, only one of the three acts is an actual DJ, unless FPH founder Omar Afra has been spinning records in his free time. Either way there will be sets from Asli of The Tontons and a guy named Chris Wadley, as well as Josiah Gabriel. The free event gets going at 8:00 and the RSVP Only details are available here.
If you’re up for a block of improv comedy, then you can head to Beta Theater for Flirt Reynolds and Beta Max. These are two separate shows full of laughs and fun. The Flirt Reynolds troupe takes the stage with a single word from the audience, and then goes off on a hilarious journey with the audience in tow for the following hour. This is followed by the Only Houston improv crew with their own weekly show, the Beta Max crew. Beta Max consists of several of Houston’s “sleeper” artists who are using improv as just that, and not a jumping point for something else. It’s pure, it’s funny, and it’s an hour that made me laugh out loud for about 52 of the 60 minutes they performed. Both shows are BYOB, Flirt Reynolds starts at 8:00 with a $6.00 cover, and Beta Max starts at 9:00, also with a $6.00 cover.
Friday you can kick off the weekend with another comic convention, the Space City Comic Con. So, I’m pretty sure that this is the one here in town that has changed its name like, 3 or 4 times. They don’t have a website or a list of who you can get to sign stuff, so good luck there. The details are scarce on this event, so I don’t really know how you can get more information. It all takes place at NRG Center, it’s all ages, and it starts at noon. Tickets are between $20.00 and $350.00.
Wiz Khalifa Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Or, you could start the evening with Wiz Khalifa & Fall Out Boy out at the Woodlands Pavilion. I think it’s fair to say that Wiz is a fan of Houston, this being his fourth visit here in the last calendar year. The funny thing is, he’s always good for ticket sales, and after watching him at Fun Fun Fun Fest last year, I can attest to his killer live set. His latest, “Blacc Hollywood” is almost as strong as his previous work, and if he still has the live backing band, then this should be another great set. Early 2000’s emo pop rockers, Fall out Boy will also be on hand. I’m not really a fan of their stuff, but if you are, then check out their recently released, “American Beauty/American Psycho.” The all ages show has gates at 6:00 and tickets between $28.50 and $69.75.
At Continental Club, they’ll host day two of Big E’s Rock Baby Rock It fest. This evening will have the highly energetic rockabilly sounds of Austin’s The Octanes. This band has the ability to make you dance and knock your socks off, and their latest album, “Roots, Rock and Romance” from 2011 is pretty damn fun. Not to be outdone, the son of Jackie Wilson, Bobby Brooks Wilson will also be there to put feet on the floor. Wilson brings those soulful sounds back to life with his amazing live sets and stronger pipes. Houston garage rockers, Mikey & The Drags will also be there to make you dance and captivate you with their incredibly tight live show. Though they’re on the verge of putting out a new album, “On The Loose!” from two years ago still holds up. The reggae meets soul meets R&B sounds of Houston’s Jimmy Shadeaux and the Steel Toe Soul will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $20.00. As an added bonus, ticket holders will get to catch Sean Reefer & The Resin Valley Boys over at Big Top. You can save some money by just grabbing a 3 day pass for $45.00 as well.
At Rudyard’s, one of Houston’s most prolific bands going, The Wheel Workers will be on hand to drop their eclectic blend of rock and melodic indie pop. Last year, the five piece dropped a double album that I think most of us in the Houston music scene felt that they couldn’t really top. Of course, they had us all fooled when they returned this year with an even better album called “Citizens.” I would hope that you’ve seen them live, but if you haven’t then let me say that there are times where the echo both Apples In Stereo and Pearl Jam, while still having their own sound. San Antonio indie pop four piece, Octahedron will be there as direct support. This band has a very different sound that’s still relatable, and they dropped four singles last year that all had this dreamy overtone to them. This year they released the “Universe” single that reminds me a little of Bang Bangz. College Station indie fuzz rock band, The Ex-Optimists will be there to open things up. This four piece reminds me of Dinosaur Jr in both their sound, and their blisteringly loud live sets. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and a measly $7.00 cover.
House of Creeps will be having a fun show, when they host alt country rockers Second Lovers. This band has been on a tear since releasing the single “Hold On.” And with an appearance at House of Blues and FPSF this year, it looks and sounds like 2015 could be their year to really shine. The indie rock of Austin’s Feverbones will also be on hand, and should add an eclectic slow jam sound to the show. Their self titled album, “Feverbones” from 2013 reminds me of early Of Montreal, so they might be worth checking out. The tripped out electronica of Houston’s PopeNQM will also be there, while Californian experimental act, Dead Recipe will perform their strange and intriguing electronica. The mystery and anthemic chants mixed with intrigue also known as Houston’s Ak’Chamel will open things up with doors at 8:00 and a TBA cover.
Chain & The Gang Photo: Michael Andrade
Alley Kat will be bringing one of indie rock’s biggest champions, when Ian Svenonius comes to town with his new band, Chain & The Gang. You might know him from his previous acts The Make-Up, Nation of Ulysses, and Weird War, alongside his Vice webshow, “Soft Focus.” Chain & The Gang sounds a lot like what hasn’t been happening much nowadays, soulful sixties rock music. Sure, we had the garage rock thing, but this is far apart from all of that. The DC natives just dropped a full length called “Minimum Rock N’ Roll,” and their soulful, funky, and R&B tinged sounds makes me wanna’ really go to this show. The trippy and synth heavy sounds of Pleasure 2 featuring members of Indian Jewelry will be on the bill as well. If you’ve missed this act, this is your chance to get transformed into their bizarre but lovely world. The coupling of Hearts of Animals/Erase Eratta/Wild Moccasins members also known as Vacation Eyes will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and a paltry $10.00 cover.
At D&W Lounge you could make it out for the country twang of The Broken Spokes. The four piece plays that traditional honky tonk and country music that many of us miss nowadays. And they always put on a heck of a live show when they perform. Check out their 2010 album, “Raw Deal” cause’ I think it’s something you’d really like if that’s your deal. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and as far as I know, it’s 100% FREE.
You can get your laugh on over at Traffic Premium Lounge when they host Laff Town’s Funniest Comedy Contest. This edition of the show will feature a ton of comics all vying for their shot at the $1,000.00 grand prize. Carl Hunter, Ryan McGhee, and Victor Tran are in this group alongside eight other comics with doors at 9:00 and a measly $5.00 ticket fee.
Saturday, feel free to start the day over at Eastdown Warehouse, for the Bayou City Bonanza. The all day and night event will see proceeds going to get spina bifida patient Monroe Tinsley her service puppy that the three year old needs. There’s music from the likes of Fat Tony, We Were Wolves, Purple, and many more; as well as comedy from Gabe Bravo, Jaffer Khan, and Dale Cheesman. There’s also arts and crafts, free lite bites, and so much more. The details are available here, it starts at noon, and the all ages event has tickets between $15.00 and $20.00.
On the final day of the Big E’s Rock Baby Rock It fest, the stops are pulled out at Continental Club. Florida natives and old school garage/rockabilly act, The WildTones will headline the evening. The swampy texture to their recordings tells me that they could be an act worth catching, if not only because their stuff sounds like it was recorded in 1958. Maryland rockabilly legend and member of the punk act, Tuff Darts, Robert Gordon will be making an appearance. Gordon has played with Link Wray, Danny Gatton, and his baritone voice in unmistakable. Austin four piece rockabilly act, The Modern Don Juans will also be on the bill, as well as The Royal Rhythmaires. The burlesque of Houston’s Dem Damn Dames will elegantly open the evening on the 21 & up show with doors at 7:00, and tickets for $25.00, or $45.00 for a 3 day pass. As an added bonus, The Big Top will host The Allison Fisher Band at 9:00.
Earth Wind & Fire Photo: Courtesy of Artist
In the woodlands at the Woodlands Pavilion, you could venture out to see the chart topping hits of Chicago. The downfall of this show, is that Peter Cetera isn’t their singer anymore, so I can’t say if the newer guy can sing hits like, “If You Leave Me Now,” or “You’re The Inspiration.” However you can bet songs like “Saturday In The Park,” and “25 Or 6 To 4,” and Cetera has been out for thirty years now anyway. They’ll have the electrifying performance of Earth Wind & Fire on hand as well. This isn’t the first time these two have toured together, but that should also tell you how well it went the first time around. I don’t think you can deny the power behind hit songs like, “September,” “Let’s Groove,” and “Boogie Wonderland.” And honestly, they’re why you make this show, because’ they’re pretty amazing. Let’s hope they close out with “Shining Star.” The gates open at 6:00 with tickets between $25.00 and $125.00.
Fitzgerald’s will be bringing the Jealous Creatures album release party to life downstairs. That album, “The Night Goes On For Days” reminds me of a mix of about 10 to 20 different genres of indie rock coupled with notes from the eighties. Keep in mind, this is a band that’s never really followed the trends of the current musical landscape, which isn’t a bad thing either. They always drop a pretty great live show and hearing the new songs in person should be fun. They’ll have the alt country rock sounds of Houston’s Second Lovers on as direct support. The six piece has been riding high since their performance at this year’s FPSF, and from what I’ve heard of the newer songs, their new album should be amazing. The indie pop rock of Houston’s Spain Colored Orange will also be on hand. I feel like if you’ve never seen this band before, then you’ve been doing Houston all wrong. Their most recent release was 2009’s “Sneaky Like A Villain,” which proves how good it is by holding up by today’s standards. They’re also one of the better live bands our city has ever offered up. The bluesy jazz sounds of Houston’s Fear The Poet will be on hand to open up the show. This band is pretty impressive in a live setting, and I hear that there’s an album on its way. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $11.00.
Avant Garden will be hosting an evening full of music in honor of Jeff Hunter, with Jeff Fest II. The show will host a whole bunch acts including Space Villains, Nikkhoo w/PLXTX, Devil Killing Moth, Pitter Patter, Kose, The Trimms and many more. It’s a FREE show with doors at 8:00.
The Shop will have the punk rock of Houston’s Talk Sick Brats grace their little up and coming venue. These guys play a medium paced version of punk that’s pretty great to catch on person. Xetas of Austin will be on hand to bring their early emo punk sounds to the masses. The three piece is one of the better imports to come from Austin in recent years, and they should make for a fun live act to see. Another Austin band, Borzoi will also be on the show, and will play their garage punk tunes. This band plays with an intensity that feels like they recorded their stuff at a live show. The sixties garage meets new wave tunes of Houston’s Silver Blueberry will be there to open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $6.00 cover.
Over at Fox Hollow, you can catch another version of A Really Kool Party, when internationally known touring DJ for Jay-Z, Neil Armstrong will perform. This guy drops all kinds of jams, like his recently released remix of the Jackie Moon(Will Ferrell) song, “Love Me Sexy.” Houston’s ambassador of jam, Dayta will also be on hand to drop some science on everyone who attends. Dayta is one of the few guys who can make me get down, because his sets are always so intense and groovy. Houston’s favorite dreamy synth wizard, producer and opener for Diplo recently, Hiram will be there to kick out the tunes as only he can. Third World TV will also be there on the 21 & up show hosted by Reko Trill. Things get going with doors at 9:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Laff Town will be bringing you another round of The 2015 Laff Town’s Funniest competition at Traffic Premium Lounge. This night the comics will still be attempting to win the $1,000.00 prize, and they need you to attend and vote. Son Tran, Danny Mo, and Chris Rogers are some of the many who’ll be performing. The show has doors at 9:00, it’s 21 & up, and the cover is $5.00.
At Crocker Bar, there’s another edition of Dykon Fagatron. This edition will be headlined by the glitch visuals and slow jams of Houston’s FLCON FCKER. I would think you’ve seen him drop a set recently, but if you haven’t then you’re missing out. The electro pop and chill sounds of DFW’s Little Science will be there as well, and should get people moving fast. From what I hear she really goes hard, and her latest tunes available here, make me want to get my groove on as well. Biz Vicious will drop a DJ set under the moniker DJ Queermo alongside a set from DJ Dyldo Daggins. Chrystal Toliver hosts the entire evening with doors at 10:00 and a ZERO Cover Charge on the 21 & up show.
Sunday you should make it over to Warehouse Live to see the massively popular sounds of Miguel. The singer, producer, and songwriter will be here in support of his latest, this year’s “Wildheart.” The California native has scored hits with “Adorn,” “Sure Thing,” and “Coffee F***ing,” and his mix of hip hop, R&B, and electronica is pretty amazing. The bluesy sounds of LA four piece, Dorothy will be on hand to open things up. Last year they dropped the album, “DOROTHY” to critical acclaim, and they’re known for an intense live show. The all ages evening has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $39.50 and $45.00.
Monday you can venture down to Clear Lake when Scout Bar hosts the industrial electronics of KMFDM. The German legends will be here in support of their latest, 2015’s “Salvation” EP, and this is a band that I’ve seen twice and both times were pretty great. These guys have been around for over thirty years, and just so you know, their name doesn’t mean “Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode.” It actually means “Kien Mitleid fur die Mehrheit” or “No Pity For The Majority” in English. Austin’s Chant will be there as direct support while Orlando’s Seven Factor will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 6:00 with tickets between $25.00 and $30.00.
Faith No More Photo: Dustin Rabin
On Tuesday, I’d guess that a decent amount of you will be headed to Bayou Music Center to catch the return of Faith No More. The nineties rockers lead by the ever changing funk and rock styles of lead singer, Mike Patton haven’t been to our city in a good while. They made their return to the music world this year with “Sol Invictus,” an album that’s as loud and diverse as the members themselves. If you’ve never seen these guys before, then I’ll tell you that you should definitely see them at least once, as they’re really great. There’s no word of an opener, but that could change. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are between $64.00 and $75.00.
Overall not a bad week. No matter what you do or where you go, please do it in the safest way possible.